Saturday 31 December 2022

Ten days into this New Year - the year of civilizational collapse

It has become a (dreaded) annual tradition for me to say something snarky about the (so-called) "New Year"

This past one has been dominated by the Fire Nation war - the start of World War Three. The escalation has been all-but one sided; with the Western powers making some of the most outrageous and gratuitous provocations imaginable, and the Fire nation (in particular their leader) demonstrating astonishing restraint while building vital alliances that prevent the FN's isolation when (not if) the pressure for escalation becomes irresistible. 

This coming year will be, I predict, the year of civilizational collapse in The West - and by collapse I mean an irreversible and accelerating process of breakdown towards chaos. 

Yet, of course, such collapse will be deniable - and indeed denied - probably by a majority of the population. 

One mode of denial will surely be to re-conceptualize and explain-away civilizational collapse as the consequence of war - hence alleged (unprovoked!) foreign aggression. 

But other pretend rationales will potentially be wheeled-out such as climate emergency/ breakdown, Birdemic 2.0, epidemics of "died suddenly" syndrome, explosions of pseudo-racism, or any of a selection of engineered (and faked) crises. 

This will (probably - of course I don't really know!) happen because it is ever-more obvious that the "Sorathic" powers of spiteful-destructive evil are ever-more dominant in The West - and are not being recognized as such, but instead ignored and excused by nearly everybody. 

Of course there is also colossal destruction from short-termist profiteering on an unprecedented scale, which is amplified by deliberately-constructed incompetence of leadership personnel (which has become so extreme, and so endemic, that people have ceased to notice that there we are well into the consequences of an active process of selection of known-incompetent thoroughly-corrupted leaders in (I think) all Western nations). 

So, those who are ultimately holding greatest power in The West and who knowingly want evil-destruction; are less-and-less trammeled by the presence of anyone who might desire to oppose them, or be able to oppose them. 

Collapse is just a question of time; and (since the underlying situation is deteriorating) the longer delayed, the more rapid and extreme it will be. 

While this is, of course, a bit of a worry; it ought not be a cause of fear - not if we reflect that fear is a sin, and that the mandatory Christian virtues include faith (trust in God) and hope (assurance of ultimate Good). 

Yet we must recall that faith and hope are directed at the spirit and eternity, hence mostly post-mortal resurrected life. The absolute assurances of faith and hope ought Not to be directed at the material circumstances of this finite mortal life.    

Luckily for Christians; we are not dependent on the general, civilizational circumstances of this earthly existence. 

But we do have a job to do; and that is to understand, discern, and choose

That is, to know Good from evil; to locate and to take the side of Good.  

This need not be a problem, unless we insist upon being directed by external, this worldly, merely-human influences. 

So long as we are prepared to take responsibility for our own salvation and theosis, to work things out for our-selves; there will no shortage of help, guidance and comfort from divine sources and by means of the active work of God's creation in the world and our-selves. 

Post-mortal, pre-resurrected, spirit life is analogous to dreaming sleep

From The Last Battle by CS Lewis - Lewis's vision of the choice confronting post-mortal spirits

After mortal life we die and become spirit-beings - and it is these post-mortal spirits who may choose to become resurrected. 

What is life like as a post-mortal spirit? What will you and I be like at the time when we are confronted by the chance and choice of resurrected eternal life? 

The condition of post-mortal souls seems to have been accessible and known in ancient times; and in the years before Christ; the ancient Greeks left us with descriptions of Hades, while the ancient Hebrews described much the same condition as Sheol.  

The condition of such spirit life can be described in terms of a state of 'dementia' or 'delirium'; but is perhaps most easily comprehended in terms of dreaming sleep

During dreaming sleep; our spirit is cut-off from the body, and from the environment. That is, in general; we lose sensations of what is going-on inside us, and in the world around us. 

Our spiritual self mostly breaks free from the body - but in sleep the spirit does not wholly break-free, because the spirit must return to the body on awakening - and therefore there must remain a connection, and this residual connection of spirit with body can be greater or lesser. 

When the connection is greater, then the body and/or the environment around the sleeping body can influence the dreaming spirit; and we find some degree in which the physical shapes our dreams. For instance, a stomach pain or a ticking clock may be taken-up in the dream, and (in part or in whole) become part of a dream. 

But sometimes the connection between spirit and body is diminished to the merest thread; and to the extent that the spirit does break free; we are then in a similar state to post-mortal spirit life. 

What are the characteristic experiences of this kind of dreaming sleep, in a qualitative and formal sense? 

In dreaming we retain our sense of 'self', of being an individual with a personal persepctive, and we remain who-we-are; but the quality of experience changes. 

The typical mood of dreaming is one of perplexity - a sense of insecure grasp of the situation; of our understanding continually slipping-away. 

We forget important things in the dream, and then later in the dream they are recalled with a sense of puzzlement: how could I have forgotten that? Or else we may discover major things of great importance in the dream that, somehow, (in real life) we had never noticed before. 

In the dream we may take-for-granted bizarre situations that we (somehow!) find ourselves in; or conversely, may find ourselves unable to comprehend and function in situations that we would normally find routine. 

Recognition of people and situations is unmoored - much as the spirit is unmoored from the body. For example, we may recognize someone familiar who then turns-out 'really' to be someone else; or else it turns-out that a stranger in the dream is 'really' someone familiar (although they may look and behave completely differently). 

(These dream experiences are very similar to delusional misidentifications observed in psychoses.) 

These kinds of dreaming experiences derive, I believe, from the greatly diminished connection between the spirit and the body during dreaming sleep. If we can imagine this disconnection becoming total and potentially 'permanent'; then we may have some idea of what it may be like to be dead - but not resurrected. 

And it may be from such a dreamlike state - or perhaps more exactly from a temporarily lucid dream state (made possible by divine intervention) - that we make the choice about resurrection. 

That is; a state when the dream situation becomes suffused by an increased self-consciousness and ability to choose; when (perhaps) the dream-self becomes more detached-from dream-experience - and knows it as "a dream" - in other words, knows the reality of the situation. 

Then, it may be, we are confronted by the decision of whether to follow Jesus Christ through the process of transformation that is resurrection, to render us eternally incarnated, and to continue into Heaven.  

Perhaps this transformation can itself be imagined, as if from a dream; as our spirits meeting with Jesus Christ and knowing Him to be Jesus Christ - standing as the Good Shepherd in front of a portal, a doorway - the entrance into the 'sheep fold' that is Heaven. 

We are granted the comprehension that we may choose to follow Jesus through that doorway; and the knowledge that if we do so - as we are solidifying ('condensing') into eternal bodies - we will be taking with us only that which Good; only that which is Love - Love of God, of fellow Men, of divine creation... 

Also, if we choose to pass through that doorway; all that is of sin, death, corruption - will be left-behind. 

What I would emphasize here, is that when we make that decision; it will be from an experienced-situation that is somewhat like a dream, and the decision will be made by selves that are somewhat like our dream selves...

But a dream-like-state that we know to be reality; and the choice will be made by what we then-know to be our real, eternal and divine self.

Friday 30 December 2022

Why is The Superman considered necessary? From Nietzsche to Shaw to Transhumanism

No, not that Superman...

ANA. Tell me where can I find the Superman? 

THE DEVIL. He is not yet created, Senora. 

THE STATUE. And never will be, probably. Let us proceed: the red fire will make me sneeze. 

[They descend]. 

ANA. Not yet created! Then my work is not yet done. 

[Crossing herself devoutly] I believe in the Life to Come. 

[Crying to the universe] A father—a father for the Superman!

From Man and Superman by Bernard Shaw

As a late teen, I was deeply influenced by the work of Bernard Shaw; and followed the trajectory of the man himself by beginning as someone who sought nothing more than gradual improvement in living conditions (by means, I assumed, of Fabian socialism); to a recognition that - even if wholly successful - this would leave the fundamental problems, the fundamental unsatisfactoriness, of life unaddressed. 

In other words, no amount of tinkering with The System could overcome the inadequacy of Men. 

(And indeed, how the The System ever really be improved when Men - even the best of Men - were so profoundly and ineradicably flawed?)

In other words, a better world is not enough. Our heart's desire is for a qualitatively different and greater mode of living. 

As a typical leftist radical; Shaw's thinking was built-upon the rejection of Christianity - what I have called the attitude of "anything but Christianity". 

This attitude (which I shared for most of my life) is prepared to search the world, and consider almost any metaphysics, ideology or philosophy - except Christianity. 

Such radicalism (which is nowadays mainstream, normal, almost universal in The West); is thus rooted in a negative and oppositional motivation; which is what makes radicalism able to tolerate almost infinite incoherence, and which makes it always tend towards destruction. (As we may see all around us.)  

Shaw, therefore, sought the greater life in the context of this mortal world. The idea behind the play Man and Superman is loosely derived from Nietzsche, who invented and popularized the concept of The Superman as a qualitatively superior Man - and the best/ only hope for the future. 

In other words; Shaw assumes that there is only this world (and that Jesus Christ's promises of resurrection and Heaven are untrue); therefore our only grounds for hope (or only honest way of staving off despair) lies in improving this world.

Shaw recognizes that this world cannot be sufficiently improved because of Men: Men are Just Not Good Enough to make or inhabit the kind of world that would justify life. On the contrary. 

Since Men are the limiting factor; it is Men that must positively be transformed. 

Hence The Superman: he is what Man must become if life is to be worthwhile.

This is why The Superman is considered as necessary

Indeed, if The Superman does arise, then he will be that which transforms society for the better; because Men-as-they-are cannot really know what changes to make, nor are current Men properly motivated actually to make good societal changes.

And attempt to make a better society without The Superman will therefore be undermined by corruption of comprehension, motivation and conduct; and 'reform' will merely become what it always (covertly) was: a mask for new forms of exploitation. 

So, it seems to be the case that The Superman must come first.   

So The Superman seems to be necessary - but what exactly The Superman might be, and how he might arise, has always been contested among those who propose the idea.

Shaw was apparently never able to make up his mind. Sometimes he thought that The Superman might be evolved, from the right kind of 'breeding' - as with the above excerpt from Man and Superman

In that play, and its supplementary 'preface' and 'appendices'; the idea recurs that if the best women and the best men are able to reproduce - then the right combinations may lead to The Superman - either gradually or in a single vast evolutionary leap. 

Shaw's socialism is put forward as a means to this end. By eliminating all barriers of class, wealth, education etc; Shaw envisages that the best men and women can find each other, and that they will have the best children - and they will not be troubled by the raising of these children because that also will be done by a socialist society. 

In other words (at least when this mood was upon him), Shaw apparently regards The Superman as a quasi-genetic problem, and the solution as a matter of 'selective breeding'.

And yet, when he states this materialist perspective; he tends swiftly to contradict it as both inadequate and wrong-headed; because Shaw had a strong and almost 'spiritual' aspiration, and also a pessimistic understanding of Man's limits and possibilities.

This came-through in Back to Methuselah - in which higher forms of human consciousness emerge due to 'creative evolution'; which is envisaged in deistic terms; as a property of reality. 

The idea is that it is part of the nature of things that the universe strives first for life, then for consciousness, and then self-consciousness. 

Part of this is that life-span is extended, until it becomes immortality at the point when bodies are discarded and ex-Men become pure spirits of consciousness.

This is another vision of The Superman. 

And this is driven by the Life Force; which is mentioned several times in Man and Superman in (implicit) contradiction to the 'selective breeding' idea - as if Shaw cannot decide between them, or wants to cover all bases. 

Whereas selective breeding as conceived by Men, and organized (mad possible) by strategy; the Life Force uses Men in its blind gropings and experiments to attain The Superman - which is the abolition (or transcendence) of Man. 

It uses Men impersonally; and when each experiment is finished, casts them aside onto the 'scrap heap' (implied to be annihilation of the self, along with the body). 

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

(From the preface to Man and Superman - Shaw speaking as himself.)

The morality that Shaw proposes is one in which Men willingly serve the Life Force, and willingly sacrifice themselves in the quest for The Superman.

What has happened to The Superman in the 21st century? Has he disappeared from culture? 

No. Instead he has been down-graded into Transhumanism. 

Instead of a qualitatively superior man, perhaps a Man of higher and more spiritual consciousness; one who will discern and lead us to a better society; Transhumanism has reduced The Superman's capabilities to the level of emotions. 

Transhumanism starts with the feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances; and takes seriously his complaints that the world will not devote itself to making him happy - and Transhumanism envisages exactly a world that is genuinely devoted to making the 'selfish little clod' perfectly happy!

Transhumanism envisages a world without suffering, and consisting entirely of varieties of gratification; and this is to be attained by material means such as drug usage and other therapies; and genetic engineering (which replaces Shaw's hope for selective breeding). 

Transhumanism dispenses with all residues of the spiritual, all deistic concepts of a universe tending towards higher consciousness; and instead aims at an eternal life attained by the abolition of sickness and ageing - aiming at the defeat of entropy by correcting random error and outpacing degeneration with repair. 

The Superman of Transhumanism is at the opposite pole from Nietzsche's hero of action and self-expression, or from Shaw's Man of higher morality who embraces his own destruction in pursuit of abstract perfection of contemplation - instead there is envisaged a passive 'consumer of emotions' (implicitly being protected and sustained by an uncorrupt and well-motivated, all powerful ruling elite).

What matters to Transhumanism is how the world seems, not how the world is.  


Well, such are the terminal destinations of reflection on the Human Condition, when "anything but Christianity" is the baseline assumption. 

The pity of it, is that great creative intelligences such as Nietzsche and Shaw did not turn their abilities and motivations onto Christianity itself

Such thinkers deployed a double standard against Christianity. About anything except Christianity they would expend great effort, over long periods, to wrestle with concepts and ideologies in pursuit of the Good Life. 

They would think and debate endlessly over what 'socialism' really was, what was its essence - and what it ought to be; but the reality of Christianity was accepted secondhand, as a pre-packaged parcel - with barely a second thought. 

When it came to Christianity; Shaw and many others simply accepted that the proper and necessary definition and conceptualization was... pretty-much whatever stories they were told in their childhood; or whatever the worst of pseudo-Christian hypocrites did rather than said. 

So whereas other ideas were understood in terms of their potential, or ideal attributes; Christianity was judged by the worst of its worldly corruptions. 

Whereas everything-except-Christianity was approached as a core creative project; Christianity was regarded as something fixed and already-defined. 

This tendency was reinforced by the fact that defenders of Christianity - such as Shaw's great friend GK Chesterton - regarded Christianity in the same way; that is, the understood Christianity as something eternally unchangeable in its nature. 

Something beyond human creativity. 

Something, moreover, about which the creative genius had to defer to history, tradition and (above all) The Church (whichever church that might be, for present purposes).

The genius grappling with Christianity could therefore go so-far - and no further. Only in Christianity was the genius trammeled. 

Thus Christianity was - and remained - what it was and untouchable; and creative geniuses should look elsewhere when they strove to understand and re-describe reality. 

This meant that very few of the great geniuses-of-ideas in modern times were Christians. There was no scope for them in Christianity. 

They were confronted with a "take it or leave it" attitude about Church-Christianity - one that implied Men of the past had got-it-right in all essentials, and any dissent was necessarily error and Not Christianity. 

Yet genius is predicated on the assumption that achievement is not constrained by what is; and that no matter what the quality and eminence of past Men was or may have been; there is always the possibility of creative breakthrough for one whose motivations are true, and to the extent that these motivations are true.  

If Nietzsche, Shaw, and the modern Transhumanists would have expended a tithe of their efforts on grappling fundamentally with Christianity, in understanding What It Is experientially (each for himself and from himself); in the deepest and most sustained way of which they are capable...

Well, the history of the world would have been very different - and probably much better. 

Thursday 29 December 2022

Many of the bad trends of the modern era are evil twists then wrong choices, made from developments of consciousness that were intended (by God) for our benefit

One of the malign aspects of the secular socio-political divide between left and right; is that the evils of leftism tend to be opposed both 'root and branch' by the right - whereas the 'root' of the change is often either potentially good, or at least necessary, and it is actually the 'branch' that is evil.  

I think this applies very generally, across many of the 'isms' that get used to justify the major strategies ad policies since the 1700s - abolition of slavery, pacifism, the various socialisms, feminism, antiracism etc. 

What needs to be kept in mind is that it is the motivation behind actions which ultimately counts in terms of values; not actions themselves. 

It is the intent and spirit which matters primarily in values, not the systematic application of 'the letter' of laws, regulations, principles etc.  

If we consider 'socialism' in its various manifestations; there seems little doubt that in the early decades, much of it (although probably Not Marx and Engels) was well-motivated; by people who (mistakenly, overall) believed that the Industrial Revolution (I.R.) had impoverished the poorest classes - as evidenced by the increasing numbers of the poor, especially in cities. 

This was, objectively, an error of causal attribution - because what was really happening was that the poorest classes had their condition raised such that after the industrial revolution the poorest classes survived in increasing numbers but in extreme poverty; instead of, as in earlier centuries, dying of poverty. 

Furthermore, the extreme poverty was concentrated in cities - where the intellectual class could not help but observe it - rather than being invisibly spread across many, but scattered, cottages and hovels of the countryside. 

The increasing urban poverty that the socialists were observing was actually a result of increasing, not reducing, standards of living. However, if the socialists causal inferences had been correct, then the adoption of socialism was not, at the time, unreasonable - and was (often) motivated by genuinely humanitarian impulses. 

In other words; there was a real problem (increasing urban poverty); but the proposed answers - e.g. coercive redistribution of wealth by an all-powerful central government in the direction of equality - was based on false understanding; and (when attempted) created other, larger and more long-term destructive problems (including spiritual corruption) that were then ignored or denied.  

My point is that socialism was a response to a real problem; but was the wrong response to a misunderstanding of the causes of the problem.

And furthermore, socialism was operating from a materialist perspective that at first placed 'the physical' as more urgently important than 'the spiritual'; then, because of the nature of this perspective and the effect of habit, soon evolved-into denying the reality of the spiritual altogether; and eventually (nowadays) both asserting, and behaving-on-the-basis-that, the physical and material world is everything

Looking back from where we now are - i.e. the most evil, because most value-inverted, system in history; it is tempting to assume that socialism was wholly evil; and that therefore the answer would be to roll-back history to restore the situation before socialism... 

But my understanding is that the problems that led to socialism were real, and new, problems. They derived from the Industrial Revolution - and therefore the proper response to I.R. problems would need to have a true understanding of the deep causes of the I.R. 

In seeking the causes of the I.R. we need to consider material causes (the sort of thing that economic historians consider); but Christians also need to consider what God may have been aiming-at in enabling the Industrial Revolution to happen.  

And Christians will want to regard the spiritual causes as, ultimately, deeper and more significant than the material ones. 

We may agree that the outcomes of the I.R. have been net-evil; yet God does not intend evil; but rather He works by providing us with opportunities. 

If Men (en masse) made wrong and evil choices when confronted by the many new possibilities of the I.R., then that was the responsibility of Men - but is not proof of God's intent and hopes.

I understand God to be working to allow Men to develop their consciousness towards a more divine level (i.e. to enable theosis). This can also be understood as involving the increase of freedom/ agency. 

And it can also be understood as God encouraging Men (through history and also as individuals, which processes are related) to grow-up from the passivity and unconsciousness of spiritual childhood, through spiritual adolescence, to a spiritual maturity where choices are active and consciousness.

From this perspective, we could interpret the Industrial Revolution as a consequence of changes in Men's consciousness, in Men's relationships to 'the world' - including other Men. 

The I.R therefore presented Men with challenges which, if the right (good) choices had been made, would have led to spiritual learning and greater spiritual maturity. 

But these opportunities came with the risk that wrong choices would instead be made, these opportunities would be lost; and - because Men were more free and had greater individual agency - the outcome could potentially be worse than was possible at early phases of human consciousness. 

So, the I.R. was an event that brought with it high potential rewards in terms of Man's spiritual agency; but also the possibility that this increased agency would be used to reject the spiritual and result in worse Men in a worse world. 

And it turned-out that most Men made the wrong choices, and got the worse world. 

We could see something similar for several of the more specialized aspects of post-I.R. society and psychology. 

For instance, Feminism can be understood as rooted in a change of the actuality of the spiritual relationship between men and women; which emerged as part of that 'modern' change of consciousness that led-up-to the I.R.  

This new relationship between men and women was a new fact, and was the 'problem' which Mankind had to face; and face it from the perspective of newly-increased free agency. 

Clearly (from a Christian perspective) Feminism as-is represents the outcome of wrong choices in face of these problems; and Feminism is responsible for great corruption and evil - including official and coerced moral inversions. 

Nonetheless; there was a real 'problem' to which Feminism was the wrong solution; and there was (and still is, to some extent) the possibility of better choices in face of this problem. 

In conclusion; I believe that Christians need to be able to see more deeply into the problems and issues of our times than a falsely dichotomous choice between either accepting the evil mass majority ideology; or an attempted roll-back towards the attitudes, motivations, and behaviours of pre-modern times - and a pre-modern consciousness which no longer exists! 

The first (modernist-assimilation) is straightforwardly evil, although deriving from real problems that might have led to good - if Men had made better choices. 

The other (roll-back) is based on a denial of real problems and real changes, and is therefore impossible to accomplish - and will lead, indirectly, to evil if it is attempted. 

What we need instead to do is recognize that the problems of modern Man are not identical with those of ancient Men; and this is part of God's plan of creation. 

Therefore, we should start from where we actually-are, and this time use our new-powers of agency and free autonomy of consciousness, to make the right choices, from good motivations. 

Wednesday 28 December 2022

What is the most important thing about Jesus Christ: the possibility of resurrected eternal life (the Fourth Gospel), or the Second Coming (Matthew and Luke)?

Three years ago I wrote a post about my - to me shocking - realization that the idea of a Second Coming of Christ was Not a part of his teaching, and had - in effect - displaced Jesus's core teaching of the possibility of resurrection for those who 'followed' Him

I still feel much the same as I did then; and am still shocked by what I regard as the distortion or even omission of (what I believe to be) Jesus's overwhelmingly primary teaching concerning eternal life beyond mortal death.

I am especially shocked by the unacknowledged implication that Jesus failed to attain his goals 'the first time round' and therefore needs to return and 'finish the job'.

And/or that Jesus - despite multiple protestations that he was not a King 'of this world' - had promised to come back and perfect this earthly life.  

But I also realize that this is of no interest to most Christians, and indeed utterly unconvincing to them - since they read the Bible (or take their understanding of the Christian faith) on the basis of an utterly different set of assumptions; so that this difference of understanding is incommensurable. 

Nonetheless; I find it deeply reassuring to believe that - in fact - Jesus's core and essential message was very simple - simple enough to be described in a couple of sentences and to be understood by a young child. 

This simple gift from Jesus seems to be exactly what we most need in the world now; and an offer that would also be most likely to lead to salvation beyond mortal death - even for those who die knowing nothing, or only falsehoods and slanders, about Christ. 

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Could the high prevalence of modern innate social and sexual dysfunction be part of the divine plan? An idea from commenter "ben"

It occurs to me that the purpose of the industrial revolution was to prepare the way for a mass of souls that couldn't survive in a pre-industrial revolution world. 

The modern social/sexual dysfunction should be seen as part of the nature of these souls, and not as some sort of addition to them surrounding but not bound-up with their nature. 

The system of incarnation ceases to function, but this is just a practical issue - their mal/anti-adaptiveness is merely an interpretation from biology of what's actually their nature (from before incarnation). 

So the mutation accumulation situation was actually intended as part of the plan of salvation - the mutation allows for the incarnation of these modern people. 

The industrial revolution both allows for their incarnation, and provides for them once they're born, so they can go through mortal life.

Idea from regular commenter ben

The Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge

When I was a later childhood/ pre-adolescent (aged c.10-12), among my very favourite books were the Jennings series by Anthony Buckeridge

These were popular among my circle, to the extent that we adopted several of the slang terms used by Jennings and his friends Darbishire, Temple, Venables etc. For example calling a rubber eraser a "bungee". 

The books are set in a preparatory boarding school, which would take boys from age about seven at the youngest, up to about twelve, when they would go on to a 'public school' or a private grammar school.

I was myself state school educated, and always at co-educational schools - and I had a fairly strong dislike of boarding school stories and comic strips - such Billy Bunter. The idea of actually being sent-away to live in a boarding school - apparently populated by bullies, thieves and liars - was, for me, the stuff of nightmares, rather than of yearning day dreams. 

Yet the Jennings books completely overcame these preferences and prejudices, because they were so high-spirited, were populated by benign and likeable people; and were so true to my experienced-life among boys (at its best) - and because they were so funny.  

Like most of the best English humour, the funniness comes from a combination of witty usage of language, combined with embarrassing situations - especially when somebody is trying (and failing) to deal with a mishap, conceal something, or - in general - trying to stay out-of-trouble, or escape from it.

As for language, the quality of writing is very good - clearly influenced by PG Wodehouse, but with its own flavour - especially deriving from the aforementioned slang. 

My own experience is that there is some degree of spontaneous linguistic creativity in any group of boys or young men; tending towards nicknames, catch phrases, and in-group terminologies. This is taken to extremes with Jennings. 

The nicknames (again true to life) all have a reason, but a reason impossible for the outsider to unravel. Jennings's friend Temple is nicknamed Bod; because his initials are C.A.T., which goes to Dog, which was 'shortened' to Dogsbody; which was too-much of a mouthful for daily usage, and therefore shortened to Bod. 

The school caretaker is called Old Pyjams because the school nightwatchman was nicknamed Old Nightie - which went to Old Pyjams - short for Pyjamas. 

The school teacher Mr. Carter is called "Benedict" by the boys, although that is not his given-name - because of the short Latin Grace before meals: Benedicto benedicatur... Benedicatur = Benedict Carter.  


The slang is often modelled on RAF (Royal Airforce) slang of the Second World War - because boys of Jennings era (and even my own) were often fascinated by aeroplanes. 

The RAF had several clever and amusing slang usages - for instance a Penguin was a senior officer that had a pilot's license, but had become "chairborne", "flying a mahogany Spitfire" (i.e. a desk) - because a Penguin has wings, but does not fly*.

"Wizard" was a common term of approbation with the officers among RAF fighter pilots; and Jennings and Co. therefore use "Ozard" as an adjective of dis-approbation - from the Wizard of Oz, presumably. 

There are dozens of others; many of which seem to have been invented by Buckeridge; most famously the exclamation Fossilized Fish-hooks! This goes with a tendency to call people variations on "prehistoric ruin", "ancient relic" and the like. 

Similarly, the catch phrases often incorporate RAF terminology, in a loose sense, as when Jennings says 

"It's the Archbeako's garden [i.e the Headmaster's - schoolmasters in general being "beaks"]. 

"He attacks at zero feet with all ammo blazing, if he finds anyone in here." 

That is when the boys are not actually impersonating aircraft - or machine guns, space ships or racing cars - as they move through the corridors and traverse the staircases between classrooms.   

For me; the funniest 'set pieces' are of the 'cross-talk' variety, when there is some difference of apprehending the nature of a situation or topic; and two people are persistently misunderstanding each other. 

These often attain surreal heights, and are capable of making me laugh aloud. For example:

Background: Jennings and his sidekick Darbishire are trying to find a goldfish that they believe to have been drained from a swimming pool into a ditch in a field; but Old Wilkie, the short-tempered teacher, is seen approaching; and they try, but fail, to hide from him in a tree. 

Jennings never lies, so when asked what he is doing; from up in the branches - he tries to explain that they were looking for a goldfish.

At which Wilkie 'explodes' with his characteristic expression Corwumph! and demands they immediately report to the staff room for some kind of judgment... 


Darbishire said: "You are a fool Jen!"

"Well, it wasn't my fault, " his friend defended himself. "We really were looking for a fish."

"Yes, but you put it badly. Even Old Wilkie knows fish don't live in trees, unless you're speaking alley - er, alley-something." 


"No, allegorically, that's it: it means saying something that sounds quite crazy, but it's all right really, because everyone knows what you mean."

"Do they? That's more than I do!"

"Well, it's like that chunk of English we had to learn for Mr. Carter, about sermons in stones and books in the running brooks."

"You're bats!" Jennings retorted. "There wouldn't be any books in the brook unless someone had put them there."

"That's exactly what I mean. There wouldn't be any fish up a tree either because they can't climb. At least," he went on, "if one did climb a tree it'd be all over the newspapers. Big headlines: Goldfish's Amazing Feat!

"Yes it would be, if it had any, wouldn't it?"

"Wouldn't it what?"

"It'd be amazing if a goldfish had got any feet."

Darbishire began to realize that they were talking at cross-purposes. Curtly he said: "No, you ancient relic, I didn't mean that sort of feet."

"For heaven's sake stop talking nonsense," Jennings answered. "There's no point in arguing about what sort of feet it's got, if it hasn't got any."

(From Jennings' Little Hut, 1951)

*Note: Getting your wings was RAF slang for gaining the pilot's license, because this allowed you to have the coveted double-wings symbol applied to the uniform. Aircrew who were not pilots - initially observers (who were, at the start of WWI, actually of higher status, and often higher rank, than pilots) had a single wing attached to a circle with an O - or later other inital/s - in the middle. Consequently, these were sometimes nicknamed, by pilots, "the flying arseholes". 

Monday 26 December 2022

The felt-unnaturalness of suffering, ageing, dying, death - why?

Perhaps the very root of religion and philosophy, is to explain why we regard suffering, ageing, dying, and death (and other such facts-of-mortal-life); to be unnatural, unjust: a violation of 'the natural order'. 

Since these aspects-of-life are universals, it would be supposed that Men would just take them for granted - yet that is not the case. They are instead experienced as A Problem. 

The 'puzzle' is therefore the combination of degeneration and death, with an attitude that they ought not to happen. 

Traditional religions and philosophies (ancient and modern) have come-up with many attempted explanations for this situation. 

For example, the idea that death etc. are an illusion (in the eternal, divine, change-less scheme of things); or the opposite idea that because they are real and inevitable, therefore we should not be bothered about them (followed by attempts to 'train' people into this attitude of indifference). 

Materialist modernists ignore the strangeness of our attitude - and instead try to cure the problems, by technological means - so that there would then be nothing to worry about.

(e.g. Attempting to engineer no pain, prevent decline, and enable either a quick and painless death; or entertaining hopes that death itself will be abolished... somehow, sooner or later.) 

This is the mainstream secular/left/liberal 'therapeutic' idea of morality-as-suffering; and virtue as that which diminishes suffering (and, conversely, sin as that which increases suffering). 

But the serious and honest thinker will recognize that the puzzle is deeper; and none of these are true answers. 

A genuine explanation needs to explain - and therefore stating variations-upon "there is nothing to explain" (e.g. it's all meaningless random/ determinism) merely kicks the can onto the deeper question of why we should (and so universally) ever have felt there was something to explain... 

The major modern 'solution' to this most profound of questions is, simply: not to think about it

This is an attempt Not to think; by active and powerful distraction; and by destruction of the possibility of thinking; enforced by propaganda and officialdom. 

And this is, perhaps, the real and deepest reason for that attitude of total rejection of 'the past' (and destruction of all reminders of the past) which has gathered so much strength over the past few decades; and lies behind our addiction to media and other technologies of stimulus-saturation/ immersion, distraction and intoxication. 

Yet this problem cannot be avoided

It will always be there; and an implicit (lived-by, 'revealed-preference') answer will always be in-place - even when that answer is being-denied explicitly. 

Attempting paradoxically to avoid the problem (e.g. thinking about how Not to think) is at the root of much that is most evil in the world; because trying to ignore a real and inescapable problem is itself to affiliate to the powers of evil: the Prince of Lies and his Empire of Lies. 

The reason why JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is experienced by so many people as the most profound of novels, is that (by his own account) it was rooted in his recognition of the centrality of this problem. 

One of Tolkien's greatest, though least known, works was indeed addressing this problem directly

Tolkien himself never could formulate an answer satisfactory to himself - but he recognized that this failure did not make the problem go-away.  

My feeling is that it is acknowledging the problem, and understanding what is at stake, that is vital - rather than formulating a satisfactory answer. 

Because then we will be in a position to recognize the true and saving explanation when - after death - Jesus Christ will show us the nature of our perplexed condition, and how it can be solved, eternally. 

Sunday 25 December 2022

"Upon a hungry desert isle" - by Herb Alpert

Torquay United "The Gulls" squad 1968-9

Featured below is a big favourite tune of mine - especially when singing the above lyrics, which I invented with my sister. 

I used regularly to go and watch Torquay United Football Club in the late 1960s - this was their theme tune; and I never knew its 'real' name. 

A school exercise book from that era survived; in which we (apparently) had to write an 'obituary' looking back on our lives as an exercise.

In this I report that I had first been a professional footballer starting at Torquay (which are, and always have been - mediocre, a third or fourth tier club at best) before moving onto greater things (including a couple of Nobel Prizes). Yet, they featured in my wildest daydreams!

Outside of my own imagination, I was never better than a moderately good footballer even at Primary School - in the school 11-a-side team, but I failed to make the 6-a-side team (obviously some kind of error, I presumed...). I put my hopes in being a late developer.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Upon a hungry desert isle!;

Merry Christmas to all my readers

 And God bless you, every one!

From The Father Christmas Letters by JRR Tolkien

Saturday 24 December 2022

Why are the ruling demons globalists/ Why are globalists invariably evil-affiliated?

What explains the strong connection between globalism and evil? 

It might, after all, be supposed that globalism was merely a political ideology - hence, if not exactly 'neutral', then (given the inevitable inadequacy of all political formulations) at least susceptible of being a medium for good intentions. 

Yet this is not so. Globalists are all affiliated-to, and supportive-of, the overall strategy of demonic evil (i.e. the hegemonic, materialist ideology of 'leftism' - which includes all mainstream politics and public discourse).

And, conversely, those who oppose Satan are never globalists. 

This is understandable if we try, imaginatively, to understand God's motivation in making a world that is Not globalist: in creating, that is, a world which is extremely various

There have always been, through human history, a tremendously wide variety of human niches: differences between continents, north and south, east and west... Within nations and regions there has been a tremendous social and geographical variation; and between families, even more differences.  

This would fit with a divine plan that each incarnating Man might be 'placed' in a niche where he would be likely to encounter an environment where he might learn... that which he most needs to learn.

In particular; a niche where he might experience situations that would make it more likely he chose salvation after death. 

And also might have experiences conducive to making the decisions, choices, commitments etc which would best prepare him for resurrected life in Heaven.  

If such variety is therefore regarded as a Good Thing for God's plan of creation; then it is immediately obvious why the powers of supernatural evil and their servants should pursue globalism - because globalism is in-opposition-to variety of mortal life on earth. 

And it is of-a-piece that the actual totalitarian, authoritarian, anti-human, anti-natural, imposed-uniformity of globalism; is propagandized and projected in such terms as 'diversity', 'individual rights', 'environmentalism', and 'freedom'!

Since value-inversion is the most deeply-corrupting of all evils - because value-inversion leads to the inability to learn from experience during mortal life, and an active choice of damnation after mortal death. 

Thus the globalists have (to the greatest extent they can manage, so far) made a world in which there are fewer, less different niches for spiritual development; and where many of these niches make valid-learning and good-choosing less likely, and more discouraged. 

Globalization should therefore be recognized as one of the major tools of evil; and all (real) Christians will oppose globalism, in all its guises and deceptions. 

Friday 23 December 2022

'Reverse engineering' tells us that God does not want modern Men to be (anything approximating to) remote-controlled puppets

It was different in the past; but it should be obvious and uncontroversial that God no longer desires Men to be His obedient servants - His ideal is not that Men ought to be functioning as puppets under remote-control from divine sources. 

This is made explicit in a long section of the Fourth Gospel (Verses 13-15); when Jesus tells the disciples that he wants them to be friends, not servants. 

However; until the modern era, Men were not able to function with such individual agency; they lived in much more communal spirituality - their individuality was to a degree but significantly (albeit lessening through time) inseparable from group experience. 

Therefore, the ideal Christian life was (for many centuries) essentially a communal, group-ish life. Although individual salvation was the goal, this was necessarily attainable only via transformation of the community life in which each individual was (to a significant degree) immersed - this especially through the institution of 'the church'.   

The many centuries of the Catholic era were characterized by a cooperation of church and state that aimed at an ideal where life was externally-prescribed, down to the smallest detail: a series of interlocking, ritual, mostly-communal, activities; each with particular spiritual functions. 

This applied before the Great Schism, and - in different ways - in both Eastern and Western Catholic societies - up to the end of the Middle Ages in the West, and only terminating at 1917 in the East. 

After the Middle Ages, the Protestant era put forward the Bible as a comprehensive instruction manual for life; that (properly understood) covered every eventuality.

Both Catholic and Protestant held an ideal (sometimes explicit, mostly implicit) of the ideal Christian as being someone who was continually aware of the divine will - in communion with God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost - or other Holy persons. 

This to be achieved variously (according to denomination) by participation in rituals, performance of spiritual tasks, prayer, meditation, use of icons, reading and memorizing of scripture - and by other means.

In a nutshell; the ancient Christian was exhorted always to be thinking about God

The ideal Christian could crudely be caricatured as a remote-controlled puppet; where the individual's will is, voluntarily and by choice, replaced by the divine will.

Now, clearly that is Not the case nowadays, and has become (apparently) impossible for most people, most of the time. 

Yet I think it is fair to say that the Christian churches have continued to recommend this as the ideal way of life for Christians. As I say, the specific practices by which this should be achieved varies considerably, but there continual encouragement for Protestants to study and learn from scripture, for Roman Catholics more frequently to attend Mass and pray the Rosary, for Mormons to become more 'active' in church activities etc.  

The official ideal has remained much the same - but the actuality of conditions for Christians has declined greatly. 

For example the Roman Catholic ideal has gone from 24/7 immersion in the Christian life of the whole society - 365 days per year; via participation in daily Mass and several prescribed prayers, down to weekly Mass, down to the churches being locked for months during 2020.

This change demonstrates the development of Man's consciousness from the group-immersed and passive-responsive; to the modern individualism which requires frequent, chosen and sustained actions  from each person. 

As of 2022; there is no nation in the world that can provide the communal, total, and immersive Christian life that was normal (and essential) in the pre-modern world. That is no longer an option (except in a few, scattered and small, sub-groups; such as the Amish).

Even where it is possible to follow the external prescriptions; as with intensive Bible reading and individual prayer in Evangelicals - the effectiveness of these recommended activities in terms of establishing a guiding connection with God's will, is clearly very diminished. Nowadays few Scripturally-focused Christians experience the kind of unworldly, transformative and long-sustained external-guidance (leading to indomitable courage rooted in zealous faith) that was common and distinctive among the early Protestants. 


Such facts of modern life, in context that God is the creator and loves each of us with an individual concern, invite a 'reverse engineering' inference. 

Since modern Man is so poorly adapted to live the life of an externally-driven, remote-control puppet - under direct divine influence; this implies that God does not want us to behave that way. 

To put the matter differently, if God wanted us to live in continuous awareness-of, and in obedience-to, his divine will; then God would have made us (i.e. 'engineered' us) very differently from how modern Men are actually made. 

If we consider the human condition of 2022 in such a fashion; I think we can conclude that the baseline state of our modern life is that (most of the time, in most situations) God wants us to work-out for our-selves what we ought to be doing; and motivate ourselves to do it.

Or; God does Not want us to be living in continuous communion-with, awareness-of, and obedience-to the divine

(Whether that divine be understood as God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or any of God's Saints.)  

Such a statement seems shocking. Yet the fact is that God is always everywhere in His creation - so if God wanted us to be always aware of Him - He would have made it so. 

The Holy Ghost is always available for our guidance and comfort; but it seems clear that Jesus does not want us always to be consulting the Holy Ghost for advice, nor always seeking comfort.  

The spiritual set-up; seems to be that we ought to work-things-out for ourselves as The Norm; but divine guidance, inspiration, effective Grace etc... all are available when needed; for instance; when we have our-selves reached the wrong answer, failed to find an answer, or have made the wrong choices. 

If I consider our condition; I conclude that we are meant to proceed on the basis of true metaphysical assumptions - e.g. that God is real, personal and loving; that Jesus Christ is our Saviour, following whom we may attain resurrection and eternal life - etc.

These (and other) assumptions provide the correct framework for our Christian life. 

Then within this we ought-to be working-out how to live for ourselves, and how to live Christianly as best we can. 

And therefore we should Not always be seeking to be told what to do from external sources; should Not be attempting to be in constant communion with God, Not be trying to make ourselves a divinely-controlled automaton, Nor striving to suppress our-selves and fill our minds with God's thoughts, Nor even attempting to pray constantly. 

Therefore, our life task as modern Christians (i.e. as Romantic Christians) is different from that of earlier centuries and levels of development. 

That task is now to take individual and active responsibility for our Christian convictions and actions - to strengthen, not displace, our real self and its thinking.  

Note: It was substantially the work of William Arkle - especially A Geography of Consciousness, Letter from a Father, and the Essays in The Great Gift - that enabled me to attain a clear grasp of our ideal relationship with God: that is to say, the relationship that God ideally wants from each of us, and to enable which he made creation as-it-is. 

Thursday 22 December 2022

Total Smugitude - The standard atheist 'refutation' of the metaphysical incoherence of their ideology

It is easy to show, following many different lines of argument, that atheism is psychotically-incoherent; and has led to mass personal misery and despair, and civilizational collapse. 

But any amount of argument, evidence, experience (and sheer common sense) - is casually and effortlessly 'refuted' (to the satisfaction of atheism) by variations on the theme of: 

Yeah yeah yeah - yadda, yadda, yadda... 

But none of that heavy stuff matters, because at the moment I feel fine

I am quite satisfied with myself as I am. (And insofar as I am not - I'm working on it.) 

And anyway (unlike Christians and other religious) I can believe anything I feel like believing - even scraps and shavings of spiritual nonsense - so really there is No Problem. 

It's all a pointless fuss made by simple-minded, dogmatic, crazed and/or retarded zealots; whose real purpose is to get inside my head; spoil my pleasures and sense of self-satisfaction; fill me with guilt about made-up problems (like sin); and thereby control and exploit me for their own purposes.

I know this because I was exactly like this for most of my adult life. 

I also knew that my position was incoherent, weak, and amoral; and therefore opened me to exactly the kind of exploitation and manipulation of which I accused Christians. 

But as adolescence shaped-into a kind-of adulthood, and proceeded through the years - I became more and more selfish and short-termist (to as great as a degree as I thought I could get-away-with), and I wanted to stay selfish; and I resented anybody trying to enlist me for any other project than my own self-satisfaction, here-and-now. 

The problem (and what saved me, literally - from deliberately chosen damnation) was that my short-termist selfishness and self-indulgence as also opposed by some strong impulses or instincts (as I thought them) - that did not make sense in my plan to become ultimately smug: indestructibly self-satisfied. 

I could not help but value love, honesty, beauty and several other things that made my life more difficult; albeit I kept working against these 'obstacles', and was able to become more self-gratifying (at least in my inmost, guarded thoughts). 

From a Christian perspective, I had taken the side of the devil in the spiritual war; and was engaged in a long-term war of attrition against my own natural goodness - which was in me as a consequence of being part of God's creation. 

And the devil's side was winning because my atheism meant that there was no compelling reason to resist the trend towards the implicit goal of Total Smugitude.  

Eventually the increasingly official and cultural evil of Western Society - as well as personal events - made the stark choice clear. 

Eventually, my own inmost attitudes - absorbed from the great and the good, from the self-styled and publicly-acclaimed socio-ethical experts of our time - began to sicken and disgust me, more-and-more sharply.

Eventually a commitment to self-gratification was instead leading towards a solid and corrosive conviction of existential hope-less-ness and despair.  

Either I would have to hand-over my mind and motivations to The System; and try to enjoy being taken wherever that was trending; and to build and strengthen my smugness as having made such a wise and self-gratifying choice...

Or else I would need to become a Christian (of some kind).


Wednesday 21 December 2022

Does being a Christian make you a better, or happier, person?

Being a Christian does not make you a better or happier person. 

That is not what Jesus Christ promises, and not what he aims primarily to 'deliver'. 

That is not what Christianity is properly "about". 

Christianity - at core - is (or ought to be!) about salvation; and salvation is saving an individual from "death", and instead enabling him (by following Jesus Christ) to become resurrected to eternal life, in Heaven.  

Yet there is a relationship between "not of this world" Christianity, and the conduct and experience of this mortal life on earth. 

And this can be seen by the contrast with that ideology of materialism-atheism-leftism, that dominates (all-but monopolizes) public discourse; especially (although not exclusively) at the highest levels of power; and especially in The West. 

This belief system - which has, in practice, infiltrated the leadership and laity of almost all self-identified religions, and has now coopted all the major Western churches (including Christian churches) in their core affiliations - we will here term the materialist-atheist ideology.  

Christian belief does not make you a better person. But it does mean that you want to attain salvation; want, that is, to follow Jesus Christ to resurrected everlasting life in Heaven. 

And to enter Heaven requires that you desire to live eternally in complete harmony with God's will, with the motivations of divine creation. 

To attain salvation does not require that you actually attain harmony with the divine, while alive mortally on earth - or else Heaven would be empty! 

But you need to want to do it! 

Such a desire may positively affect your conduct in this mortal life. So there is an indirect relationship between Christianity, and being a better person. 

To be a materialist atheist does not of itself make you an evil-aligned person. 

But it does mean that you have no reason - except momentary expediency - to be a better person. 

And it does mean that you have no coherent basis for understanding what a 'better person' might be.

What about a happier life for Christians? 

Well, that is not promised; and the basic nature of this world is unchanged by becoming a Christian. All Christians are subject to the 'entropic', corruptive, degenerative nature of this world - and all will die.

(Indeed all Christians need to die; if they are to attain their heart's desire.)   

Yet, insofar as existential 'alienation', meaninglessness, and purposelessness - a sense of the futility of all relationships and actions - are all major dissatisfactions of modern life; then the Christian understanding does provide a positive and hopeful framework - such that miseries with these roots can be known as temporary and not ultimate. 

Whereas, for a materialist-atheist, there is no ultimate or permanent reason to be happy. 

Happiness is understood to be merely an evanescent response to psychological, bodily, and environmental events. So, to be happy doesn't mean anything and doesn't last. 

On the plus side; the materialist atheist has no ultimate restrictions (such as would apply to a Christian) on what he does in search of happiness. But, whatever extreme measures he might take; any consequent happiness can, in practice, only be momentary and meaningless. 

And when the atheist-materialist is not currently happy; then there is no better context in which to experience this misery. 

For the atheist-materialist; here-and-now misery can therefore be known as ultimate and overwhelming; despair can be absolute. 

In sum; being a Christian certainly does not make you better or happier. 

But following Jesus does provide an ultimate understanding of reality that can inspire and sustain betterness or happiness.

In particular; Christian conviction and affiliation is able both to explain why this mortal life is not the most important outcome in a life that extends to eternity; yet at the same time our lifetime choices may be of permanent significance - taken-up through resurrection into everlasting creation.  

Tuesday 20 December 2022

"Let no such man be trusted..." What do You think of Weber's Bassoon Concerto?

The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted

From The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare

I don't think it quite true that the man with no musical appreciation is intrinsically untrustworthy. We are all entitled to a blind-spot or two (mine include sculpture and ballet). 

It would be more accurate to my experience to assume that among those who do profess an affection for music - and in particular for classical music - there is a certain type who cannot be trusted. 

How may this untrustworthy type of 'music lover' be detected? 

There happens to be a "test piece" - the reaction to which can be used to pick-out the treasonous species of classical music maven.  

This was discovered by the novelist Kingsley Amis. I seem to recall that he stated somewhere, on the basis - I understand - of extensive research; that anyone who said he did not like Weber's Bassoon Concerto, was the kind of slimy and pretentious individual that ought to be be avoided if possible, and shunned if not.

I think this is probably correct. It is not necessary that one should actively like Weber's Opus 75 (and certainly not required that it should be a favourite piece*); but a Man who claimed to dis-like it, clearly has something rather seriously wrong with his attitude to the world. 

How do you respond? 

No pressure...

* The Bassoon concerto is not even my favourite concerto by Weber! - that would be his first clarinet concerto (F Minor, Opus 73) - which I regard as the equal of Mozart's for the same instrument. 

Monday 19 December 2022

Nowt so queer as "folk"


Doubling-down - a characteristic of the middle managerial, bureaucratic mind

The often remarked phenomenon by which leftists double-down on their errors is interesting. 

It shows, in the first place, an indifference to truthfulness, combined with a dishonesty about motivation. 

Because, if somebody really believed in what he professed, he would carefully monitor outcomes to ensure that they were actually being achieved. 

But habitual lying means that adverse real outcomes can be ignored, and false motivations mean that there is no end point to this process. 

Doubling-down is mainly as aspect of that bureaucratic, totalitarian evil that I have been calling Ahrimanic

In practice, doubling-down is characteristic of the middle-managerial mindset; a level of person who denies his own agency, does not discern or evaluate; but instead regards his function (and being) as implementation of decisions made by those higher-up the System. 

I often observed this in bureaucracies. The attitude - at every level - including 'leadership' of major institutions like universities or health authorities - that it is not my job to question strategy. I found the same attitude when I had dealings with senior bureaucrats and politicians who headed national organizations. 

Where then ought strategy to be decided? Where is it actually decided? 

This is unclear; because even at the highest levels that we can observe - there is never any genuinely strategic thinking; not least because the pretense of strategizing is done by (often) large committees, and decided by voting - which tells us that the real deciding has already been done elsewhere.

Eventually, at some invisible level - and perhaps at a supernatural-demonic level - there are (there must be - given that there obviously-are long-term strategies) those who genuinely strategize: who set out the imperatives upon which everybody below (including supra-national, national, institutional, professional, and corporate 'leaders' - as well as the millions of bureaucratic and media minions) then doubles-down.  

The basic model, then, is a covert, occult real-leadership which sets the left/ evil agenda for the world; and then everybody else is just one of the double-downers.  

But evil is (ultimately) oppositional, therefore mutually antagonistic, hence strategies do not cohere. 

So there is a lot of doubling-down on multiple oppositional, incoherent, and therefore mutually destructive, strategies. 

Thus we get a world ostensibly in strategic pursuit of a single totalitarian System; which itself operates to prevent and destroy the possibility of its own implementation. 

Since evil also projects its own sins; this has led to the obsessive zeal directed against imagined dissidents, saboteurs and terrorists - who are blamed for the Systems own self-destructive incoherence. 

The System both aims-at and also sabotages a closed, complete, global totalitarianism. But those (real or imaginary) outside the System are blamed for the failure of coherence that originates within the System itself. 

(Consider inflation. It has wholly been caused by System strategies, but is blamed on causes such as the birdemic and the Fire Nation, that are - supposedly - outside the System.) 

On top of this; advanced evil has abandoned strategy, and pursues spiteful destruction of The Good directly

At the invisible level where strategies are made; there are increasingly-powerful anti-strategists, who seek to increase and spread chaos, corruption, ugliness, lies, suffering, death for their own sake - because that is what They want

This will mean less doubling-down in future. But (if Sorathic motivations are behind it) blind-implementation of plans will Not be replaced by adaptiveness, functionality and the capacity to learn. 

Doubling-down will not disappear. We should expect to observe middle manager types within the System, complaining bitterly and despairing that the higher-ups are not following-through on the long established strategies (and blaming Christians and subversives). 

These middle managers will continue, and escalate, doubling-down - to the limit of their ability - because doubling-down is What They Do, it is All They Have. 

Meanwhile the psychopathic types of the System will be moving into ever more obviously hedonistic, exploitative and short-termist behaviours. Extravagant, blatant, open, extreme and perverse personal corruption of behaviour will be seen from these 'elites'; whose 'enjoyment' will increasingly derive from come from the fact that They can do, in public, what the masses are forbidden to do.   

And the spiteful (Sorathic) types will be exhibiting an ever more naked sadism at the suffering and destruction they are facilitating. On the large scale they will provoke war, escalate war, fuel war, feed ever-more people into ever-nastier war. They will break-up functionality, provoke chaos, and export chaos globally.  

The Sorathically-evil have no need to advertise their activities, but will lie, plausibly excuse, and falsely misrepresent their destruction

This is, as I have often argued, an era in which the first necessity is discernment - understanding; and in which this must begin in the individual person (because this is what God wants of us, as well as because nearly-all potential sources of external authority - such as churches - are corrupted and converged into the System). 

On the one hand; we are not personally responsible for the large-scale events of this material world, nor can we affect them. On the other hand; we are and unavoidably responsible for our own understanding and evaluations. 

And right-understanding and true-evaluations have a positive spiritual impact that cannot be prevented by the strategists of evil. 

Sunday 18 December 2022

From "adverts are the Best thing on TV" - to Only Bad TV adverts

Although commercials are clearly a 'minor' art-form, at best; in the UK it used often to be said - from the 1970s and up to around the millennium - that "the adverts are the best thing on TV". 

This was not literally true; but certainly the best adverts were masterpieces of their kind; almost miraculous in their compression, and variety; and one of the best modern directors - Ridley Scott - began by making some iconic TV ads.  

They were also very effective at selling their product. 

Indeed, it was precisely that they needed to sell the product, which made them so effective. Constraints of this kind are good for art - just as Shakespeare was the most popular playwright of his day. 

Nowadays - not only are there zero good adverts, there are only bad adverts. 

TV commercials are not merely un-enjoyable, but actively unpleasant to experience. 

Why? because they are not even trying to sell the product; but are always, and primarily, trying to operate as propaganda for the evil value-inversions of the globalist Establishment. 

Indeed - this is mandatory as a bureaucratically-imposed factor in their corporate role: advertising political correctness, the leftist-woke ideology, is the core institutional role of modern commercials and PR. 

And bureaucratic imperatives are not, and never can be, the basis for high quality, or or even enjoy-ability in anything; because bureaucracy is intrinsically evil - and evil is ugly, as well as dishonest.   

The weird 1960s 'science' mania

As a child growing-up in the middle 1960s, I was fanatical about 'science' - and had all kinds of weird ideas about "how great it would be" to live a totally artificial and high-tech life. 

I thought it would be great to live on the Moon, or Mars - in gigantic glass bubbles or domes linked by tunnels; breathing artificial air and venturing outside in space suits or podular vehicles. If not "outer space" then "inner space" as it was termed; living on earth but in similar cities located on the floor of the oceans, or maybe in Antarctica. 

I seem to have regarded it as a positive thing that people would never go outside, or even use their legs! Because in these cities we would never need to walk anywhere; but would be transported by monorails and moving walkways; supplemented by personal hovercrafts, hover-boards, and (of course!) jet-packs. 

If any single thing represented the mid 1960s dream of a science world - it was the jet-pack!

The indoor environment was also supposed to be highly artificial and technological; with banks of TV monitors - and with fitments and furniture that folded away flush into the walls when not in use. 

There would be no books, but everything would be on screens - especially wristwatch screens and vid-phones; a concept so exciting that I could not make myself believe the possibility!

Clothing would - naturally! - be entirely artificial; made of nylon, plastic and metallic substances, and secured by multiple large zips. (Zips were futuristic!). Even better, clothing might be disposable - a new style every day!

Food would be like that of the Gemini astronauts: that is, food would be in synthetic cubes and slabs, or taken as tablets. Drinks would be engineered in bright colours and exotic taste - to provide essential vitamins.

(I regarded vitamins as the single most essential aspect of eating: having the idea that if you had enough of the necessary vitamins, you would not need anything else).  


In sum; I can see that the lifestyle I hoped for was essentially that of an (extremely idealized!) astronaut

How things have changed - how I have changed ; in terms of what I want, like, hope for!

My 1960s daydream now seems like a claustrophobic nightmare of boredom and triviality! The best things (such as recreational space-ships, jet-packs and mini hovercraft) never happened, were never viable, were ear-splittingly noisy!

And now that I could have a 'TV on a wristwatch, I don't want one; I dislike vidphone communications; and screens in every room turn out to be a combination of uninteresting, sinister and taken for granted. 

I love medieval buildings, wooden furniture, traditional food, tea and coffee, trees, meadows, and hills; and choose to wear cotton and wool exclusively; and much prefer paper books to the 'e' versions. If I daydream - it is of a rural and earthly idyll of some kind; nor a Martian one. 

The main lesson I draw is that things which sound cool, exciting and in general "great" seldom are. Not least because this whole attitude is one of passivity seeking to be overwhelmed with stimulation: the idea that happiness is a consequence of a perfectly designed and tailored environment.

It was reading Tolkien in my early teens that marked and triggered the change-over away from desiring an artificial and astronaut lifestyle to something more crafted, and connected with natural things - although I have lived and worked almost wholly in cities.

More deeply, I have come to recognize that such matters as where we live, and what lifestyle we strive for, are secondary to spiritual imperatives - and that 'lists' of what is great, cool or idyllic ought not to dominate our choices. 

Living in accordance with checklists is a Bad Idea - no matter the provenance of these checklists -- no matter even if these checklists are derived from scripture, religious authority or whatever. 

In the ultimate analysis; checklists are external, material and demand submission; whereas we are called-upon to seek instead inner motivations, specific and contextual guidance from the Holy Ghost - and active and conscious engagement with living. 

It has become clear over the decades that spiritual guidance will tell me when I am in the wrong situation and need to seek change; or when I should stick with the present situation (which is, of course, never perfect!).  

After that basic choice has been made - other matters take priority. 

Saturday 17 December 2022

Is everybody a "latent" Christian?

When I was an atheist I used to get very annoyed by Christians who would argue that I was "Really" a Christian, whether or not I knew it; and I only needed to acknowledge the "fact". This struck me is untrue; and I sure I was right - not least, because when I did become a Christian it caused a massive change in my mind and life; a far greater change than if conversion had merely been a matter of 'admitting' what I already was. 

However, I think it may in the past have broadly been true that "everybody" (i.e. most people) was a Christian. In other words; perhaps it was once possible to take for granted that people would choose to convert to Christianity if they:

1. Knew what Christianity offered - i.e. resurrection, eternal life, Heaven. (i.e. A "better deal" than any other religion.)

2. Believed these claims were true

Thus early Christian missionaries seemed to emphasize that Christianity offered the believer more than their previous religion - so that the potential convert wanted to believe it was true. 

Then the missionary tried to convince the potential convert that the missionary's claims were true.

This 'convincing' was, in the early days, often by miracles, answered prayers, and other 'supernatural' means.

The early days of Mormonism provide a well-documented example of this process, when the first wave off missionaries were sent to England. 

To simplify; the missionaries would describe what was 'on offer' from this new version of Christianity (representing, for many people, an enhancement of the trad-mainstream Christian afterlife); and then (to convince of truth) the missionary would give the potential convert a Book of Mormon (having described its miraculous provenance). 

This was done with instructions to read with a truth-seeking-intent, and while doing-so to ask God in prayer whether the book was true - thus the potential convert was seeking a personal divine revelation of the validity of the Mormon claims (the availability of such personal revelations being a major element of Mormonism, and the Book of Mormon itself). 

This 'method' worked sufficiently well in the middle 1800s that the missionaries would convert a couple of people every day, on average. Most of these converts would be sufficiently convinced and enthused by their new religion to leave their homes and families (forever, potentially); and emigrate thousands of miles over sea and land - to settle permanently in and around Salt Lake City. 

Such experiences with Christian conversion fit with the assumption that if only a person knew what Christianity offered, and believed it; then he or she would become a Christian

But that was then; this is now

Now it cannot be assumed that people will, in general, want an afterlife at all; and even if they do want an afterlife, that they would desire the kind of afterlife that Christians describe. 

(For instance, it seems that many people want something more like 'Nirvana' - a barely-conscious, depersonalized state of timeless bliss.)

So, even if such people could be convinced of the reality of what Christians claimed, and convinced that they themselves could obtain this outcome - they would not want it, but instead something else.

Furthermore, there are many modern people cannot be convinced of the truth of Christianity; and the reason they cannot be convinced is not due to lack of evidence, but because their fundamental assumptions (i.e. metaphysical assumptions) rule out the possibility. 

In other words, they do not believe that miracles are real, or that answered prayers could happen. Any possible evidence is already explained-away by prior exclusion. 

An apparent miracle Must Be due to delusion or fraud; an answered prayer just 'wishful thinking' operating on coincidence etc. 

An excellent example of this mind-set is depicted by CS Lewis in The Last Battle, the final book of the Narnia Chronicles. There are a group of dwarfs who are actually on the threshold of Heaven, surrounded by Good Things - but who have decided that the whole set-up is a malicious trick. 

The dwarfs therefore actually perceive almost everything Good as trash: good food tastes of muck. Any pleasing event is a deception. 

Their whole mind-set is focused on a determination not to be fooled - and therefore a determination that every-possible-thing is (underneath the surface) malign and nasty. 

Such is an accurate allegory of many modern people. 

  • They (we) have pre-decided that this is a purposeless, meaningless and impersonal universe. 
  • Any suggestion that there is a loving God who created it, is regarded as childish delusion. 
  • Such suggestions met with incredulity, and regarded as an attempt at manipulation. 
  • Any 'evidence' of a miraculous or supernatural kind, is explained-away as necessarily fraudulent.    

In conclusion; however differently it was in the past; mainstream modern people are Not latent Christians; but indeed are pre-immunized against serious belief in religion generally - but Christianity in particular